This is the first raccoon I have seen in our neighborhood in the last 4 years I have lived here.

2020/10/10 – The Night of the Raccoon

I am not sure what people do when they view my posts. Do they look at the pictures first and then read the text, or, they read the text and go to the pictures to see what I am talking about? Then again, sometimes I get the feeling that people think I write too much… Oh well, I like to share my knowledge as well as my pictures. So, please, bear with me 😉
Anyway, enough with the blablablah, here’s today’s gallery:

Last week we had another little surprise, as we were on our way back from our after-dinner walk. We heard people shouting excitedly at a house across the street. I got closer and saw that it was just a raccoon. I laughed and, naturally, started shooting. The interesting part about this story is that this is the first raccoon I see in this area, even though I have been living and hiking there for the last 4 years. I don’t know, I guess these guys deserve their funny robber appearance.
Another interesting fact about raccoons is that they are not members of any of the common mammal families, such as canines, felines, and rodent. I had to look it up when my wife asked me, and I found out that they belong to the Procyonidae. Other animals belonging to this family are coatis, kinkajous, olingos, olinguitos, ringtails, and cacomistles, according to wikipedia. Then, as I was looking at the picture of the coati, I remembered an animal we saw in Costa Rica a few years ago. At the time I had no idea what animal that was. Now I know. When I saw it, I was surprised and I shot this video.

Aside from that, we have a couple of pics of egrets at Lake Hodges. First,a great egret standing tall on a dead branch. He sure looks proud. And then, we have a snowy egret walking in the water at the edge of the lake. At first I thought the little one was a female great egret , but a little research showed that male and female of the great egret look much alike, contrarily to the usual pattern in nature where the male bird is often more colorful and/or larger than the female.
Also, I just found out that the snowy egret was on its way to extinction because of excessive hunting. Fortunately some people got concerned and laws were passed which allowed this bird to return to its former population levels.

Then we have yet another lizard, a female granite spiny lizard . As seems to be often the case with lizards, this one has an interesting color combination: striped red body with green striped limbs and tail. Notice how his top legs almost disappear against the pattern of the granite. I believe that this is a good  example of the use of mimesis by animals. I have a few more picture to illustrate that evolutionary trait in nature which I will show you in another post.

And for our last picture, I caught this trio of California ground squirrels watching me from the top of a boulder. They all wanted to know what I was about to do. They stared at me for a long time, until I left. In a way, they made me think of the Three Stooges, but, of course, they are much cuter.


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